Minister for International Development Cooperation Isabella Lövin: now Sweden is raising its level of ambition on this issue.

The potential of 50% of the Congolese population – its women and girls – to contribute to peace, stability and development in DRC is still not being fully utilized. DRC can hardly afford not tapping this resource.

50% de la population congolaise – les femmes et les filles – reste potentiellement une ressource non exploitée dans l’élaboration de la paix, de la stabilité et du développement en République démocratique du Congo. La RDC n’en a guère les moyens. Les violences sexuelles domestiques ou en situation de conflit, sont un défi majeur en RDC. Dans les zones de conflit, les efforts visant à prévenir la violence sexuelle doivent être renforcés, en particulier dans les zones reculées. Nous avons besoin d’un système de justice plus fort pour combattre l’impunité et renforcer la législation existante, comme par exemple, mettre en œuvre la loi sur le dédommagement des victimes

In June 2014, Dr. Margaret Chan, Director-General of the World Health Organisation (WHO) assumed personal responsibility for the organisation’s Ebola response, and has been committed to the fight against Ebola ever since. Is the worst phase really over and what are the critical factors going forward? Swedish Foreign Policy News got an opportunity to ask her a few questions.

In my previous entry I discussed the importance of trade-related assistance. This text is a logical follow-up, as on 19 February I had the opportunity to witness this in practice when I visited the Trade Policy Training Centre, trapca, in Arusha, Tanzania. I was met with enthusiasm, competence and a genuine belief that trade should play an important role for development in Africa.

Environmental and rights issues are high on the agenda for Sweden’s work on the new global development goals. It is important that these priorities also permeate World Bank priorities.

Water has been identified as the number one global risk ahead of this week’s World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos. Sweden is actively involved in efforts to achieve sustainable and equitable water solutions in one of the most water-scarce regions in the world – the Middle East and North Africa.

Trade policy has an immense potential to contribute to economic growth and poverty reduction. But it is important to remember that trade policy in itself does not create development. It has to be complemented by the right policies and conditions on a national level. For many countries, especially the poorest in the world, this can be a big challenge.

Almost 15 years ago – on 31 October 2000 – the world decided to stop viewing the participation of women in peace and reconstruction efforts as a side issue and instead recognise it as an absolute necessity for achieving sustainable peace and development.